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Costa Sights

Writing about my favourite places and towns in Spain.

30 January 2020 @ 14:14

Street Art Tour Madrid

You may have read much about all of the buzz regarding contemporary Madrid art in a well know Madrid art gallery, but how much do you know about Madrid’s underground art scene?     

Often referred to as graffiti or urban art, Madrid is awash with exciting murals hidden in nooks and crannies just waiting to be discovered.

Often demonstrating the street life where the artists grew up, Madrid’s urban art scene transforms once undesirable urban spaces with the kind of art you might expect to see in a museum.

While you may not find anything signed by the likes of Goya, Velázquez and Picasso, you might have the good fortune to stumble upon a Jonipunto, Suso 33, Spy, Okuda, Borondo or Muelle who are all giants of urban art in Spain.

Earlier this year, Madrid was experiencing some social and political challenges that make street artists want to get out and express their opinions through their work.

One of the county’s biggest daily newspapers El Pais, claims that the amount of street art is excitingly more popular compared to what was around 10 years ago.

One of the best times to visit Madrid for street art is during April when urban artists from around the world descend on the Malasaña district of Madrid to paint their works on every available wall and shutter.

Similar to other trendy areas in Toronto, Miami and Los Angeles, Malasaña is full of student-friendly places where young people like to hang out and enjoy Madrid art.

The festival event attracts thousands of visitors from around the world who come just to watch and photograph the artists at work.

Globally trends in tourism are changing with old established trends making way for unique and alternative experiences.

CALLE Lavapiés street art tour Madrid 

When we came up with the idea of a Madrid street art tour back in 2015, the first place that popped to mind was the Lavapiés neighbourhood of the city due to its multiculturalism and bright vibrant colours.

All the guides at Cool Tour Spain focus on the following:

·   Society’s problems

·   Political corruption

·   People losing their homes

·   A lack of jobs

·   Youth unemployment

·   Gangs

·   Crime

·   Domestic abuse

Every piece of street art in Madrid has a story to tell and we not only desire to express that story but explain the greater meaning behind the art.

Even though we feel we are helping the artist by escorting people to see their works, there are some in Madrid who are against us because we are using the tours as a way to create an income. In other words, exploiting their artistic work for our monetary gain.

What these people do not know and that we would like to tell them is that we hire local artists who speak English as guides because of their knowledge of the urban art scene and their love of being able to share it with visitors.

Will street art survive and what are its consequences?

The artists who have become famous now choose to do their artwork lawfully while others will always try to seek anonymity and not paint for fame or fortune.

The street art scene has always wanted to be real and not seek permission for what it creates, but many people in Madrid are not as enamoured with some of the artwork and would like to see the perpetrators locked up and punished.

This poses a problem for many young artists fearful of paining at organised events in case they are recognised for decorating a wall shutter or train without permission.

One rule of thumb is; If you think you are bettering what was there before you painted, then we believe you should be able to do it, but if not think about it twice, as meaningless lines and tags do not equate to works of art.

Cool Tour Spain does not support vandalism or any aggressive actions that deface public or private property in Madrid. The next time you visit Madrid, why not choose to observe an exciting and alternative side to the city?  Street art tour Madrid


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